Guest post by Gabriella Chavarin. Gabriella grew up in Southern California and fell in love with the culture and vibrant nature of San Francisco. She moved to the city and walked by Lighthouse regularly before realizing that maybe this was the community for her. She's passionate about healthy living and sharing her wisdom with other women!
" The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
In his letter to the church of Corinth, Paul reminds us that we are all interconnected as the body of Christ. We are a community. By encouraging, loving, and serving one another, we can witness God delivering salvation into our lives.
Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate how God uses community at Lighthouse to answer prayers. In an interview with Amanda Perez, we discuss her fitness journey, community, and how being healthy directly weaves into the Up, In, and Out approach. This is her story:
What fueled your desire to become healthy?
Amanda: Living in San Francisco, I recognized how health and fitness are a huge part of our culture. Over time, I started becoming aware of the imbalances in my life. I realized that even though I may be spiritually healthy, I was not physically healthy. I also felt inspired by my Lighthouse family, because I know a few of them are really into eating healthy and working out.
How did your fitness journey begin?
Amanda: It started with the Up. I began to pray to God for guidance. For so long I never thought I’d be excited about being fit, I just thought that was someone else’s lifestlye. At one point, I believed that being very spiritual compensated for not being healthy. Yet now I had the desire to get healthy, but I didn’t know where to start, what to do, or who to approach. Then came the In.
Through his community, God provided the support, and acocuntability I needed in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Tshakie started leading Zumba classes at Lighthouse every Wednesday. I started attending. You and I recently got to know each other, and now we work out together. Even though the early morning workouts are sometimes brutal (I hate planks!) it’s almost been two months of consistent training. Woohoo! God showed me that by stepping out in faith, He will provide solutions to our problems.
How has life changed since you’ve started your fitness journey?
Amanda: I feel more energized, my clothes fit differently, and now I actually enjoy the burn from a good workout. But my desire to be healthy is more than just looking, and feeling a certain way. It is about putting into practice the Out. Adopting a healthier lifestyle has become a way to connect with people in our city who aren't Christians, but are into healthy living and fitness. I used to feel insecure about not being relatable, but now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle, I have a way to engage with them.
Amanda’s journey is a testimony of God’s grace, and providence. Her story is also a portrait of how stepping out in faith, and community helps us grow into a healthy body of Christ.